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Defense expert: Michael Jackson gave himself a fatal dose

Dr. Conrad Murray listens during testimony by Dr. Robert Waldman, an addiction specialist, during the final stage of his involuntary manslaughter trial in Los Angeles on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. Murray has pleaded not guilty and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical licenses if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death. Pool,AP Photo/Paul Buck

Dr. Conrad Murray
Pool,AP Photo/Paul Buck

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - An anesthesia expert testifying for the doctor charged in Michael Jackson's death says he believes the singer gave himself a fatal injection of an anesthetic.

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Dr. Paul White testified that he doesn't see evidence supporting the prosecution theory that Jackson's doctor was infusing the singer with propofol using an IV. He says the theory isn't supported by evidence found at the scene or in Dr. Conrad Murray's statement to police.

White, an expert in the anesthetic propofol, says the evidence recovered in Jackson's bedroom was more consistent with him receiving the anesthetic through an injection.

White's testimony challenges that of prosecution expert Dr. Steven Shafer, who had told jurors he believed Jackson's doctor used an IV drip of propofol and said that was the only way to explain the high levels of the drug found in the singer's body.

In earlier testimony, White also challenged the prosecution expert's estimation of how much of the sedative lorazepam Jackson received. Lorazepam, along with another sedative, was cited as a contributing factor in Jackson's June 2009 death, which was blamed on propofol intoxication. 

According to White, Jackson shouldn't have stopped breathing and should have awakened based on the levels of sedatives and propofol that Murray told police he gave the singer.

White showed jurors a model he helped create that contends Jackson took some oral lorazepam in addition to an injection of the medication that Murray acknowledged giving the singer. In opening statements, Murray's attorneys claimed Jackson may have taken several lorazepam pills without his doctor's knowledge.

White's testimony challenges a prosecution theory that Jackson would have had to receive several injections of the sedative to reach the level of lorazepam found in his blood after his death.

Murray pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

White's testimony will likely be vigorously challenged by prosecutors, who spent four weeks laying out the case that Murray is a greedy, inept and reckless doctor who was giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid in the singer's bedroom.

Cross-examination of White will be delayed until Monday so prosecutors can review a new defense analysis  based on recently conducted tests of samples taken during Jackson's autopsy.

Complete coverage of the Conrad Murray - Michael Jackson case on CBS News

  • Crimesider Staff

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